Monday, November 1, 2010
Just a quick question about the dark doctrine (i.e., the doctrine of double effect). I agree that Thomson's Loop Case makes it hard to defend the DDE on its standard understanding, but as a logical point, if the DDE is understood as saying only that there is a moral difference between effects intended and foreseen or that it's prima facie wrong to intend an evil means in the pursuit of some end, doesn't it survive that purported refutation? Yeah, it's permissible to turn the car at the guy with the intention of hitting him, but that's consistent with the obviously correct thought that it is prima facie wrong. And so that's consistent with the thought that one wrong arises because of the agent's intentions. Is there some reason that explains why the DDE is taken to be an absolute principle or is this just some historical quirck?